For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:20–23, NASB
If you read or listen to the “testimonies” of the “new evangelists” or the emergents, or even those in the conservative denominations like the Southern Baptist Denomination who are working very hard to transform themselves into something they perceive as more culturally relevant, you will discover that they, across the board, arrived at their theology as they became “refugees” from some form of pietism or American Evangelicalism that leaned heavily towards semi-pelagianism and/or legalism. That mix, in whatever proportions, is intellectually veneer-thin. When the leadership within those groups move at all away from being centered on God’s Word and His grace then all that is left is the legalism that only leads those in unbelief to despair for, without the preaching of the Good News according to the Free Grace of God, all that is left is simply manmade religiosity. These “refugees” now look at all whom they view as dogmatic in any way about their theology as simply “fundamentalist”, even though there is a vast difference between what we preach and teach and that from which they fled. Of course, these “refugees” are mired in unbelief, no matter how “religious” they appear.
“For from the least of them even to the greatest of them,
Everyone is greedy for gain,
And from the prophet even to the priest
Everyone deals falsely.
“They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially,
Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’
But there is no peace.
“Were they ashamed because of the abomination they have done?
They were not even ashamed at all;
They did not even know how to blush.
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
At the time that I punish them,
They shall be cast down,” says the Lord. Jeremiah 6:13–15, NASB
Some may read my last few posts and believe that I and all who agree with the theology taught in those posts are antinomians. However, that is a case of missing the point. The doctrine of salvation by grace alone through faith alone is Biblical. Works-righteousness only leads to self-righteousness and never to peace and joy that is found by the regenerate who know their salvation is bound up in the righteousness of another, the Lord Jesus Christ, not their own. Those who despise the doctrine of imputation say that it leads to antinomianism. I present this post in answer to that.
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance; and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Matthew 3:7–12, NASB
In the passage above John the Baptist was addressing a form of spiritual blindness that was afflicting the Pharisees and Sadducees. Is there the same sort of stubborn blindness pertaining to Christianity? Yes, sadly there is. Spiritual blindness is a darkness beyond our ability to describe. This blindness is rampant in the “visible Church” in our day. Jesus prophesied about this.
Over the weekend, a video surfaced showing Islamic terrorists beheading 21 Coptic Christians for no other reason than for their religious beliefs. There are anywhere from 10 million to 60 million Coptic Christians worldwide. What do Coptics believe? According to Christian apologetics site GotQuestions.org, Coptic Christianity is similar to Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy in that it emphasizes faith-plus-works in salvation as well as liturgical ritual.
According to Christian News Network:
The recently-released findings from an in-depth study of nearly 10,000 young adults show that Millennials who were homeschooled are less likely to leave the faith than individuals who attended private or public schools.
For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. John 1:17 NASB
ὅτι ὁ νόμος διὰ Μωϋσέως ἐδόθη, ἡ χάρις καὶ ἡ ἀλήθεια διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐγένετο. John 1:17, NA28
Without a doubt the “visible church” in our time is in a great deal of confusion. Why? It is because there are scores of so-called “Christian leaders” who have compromised the truth in order to make their ministries more acceptable to the world.
As our Lord stood before Pilate and said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.”
Pilate said what to our Lord? He said, “So you are a king?”
Our Lord replied, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”
What was Pilate’s answer? He said, “What is truth?”
What is it that our Lord is teaching us here is that we must learn and appropriate and apply to our lives? God’s truth is not editable. It is not modeling clay. It is not something that changes as times and seasons and culture changes. Grace is our theology.
The Daily Mail reports that New Age guru Shirley MacLaine “has provoked widespread fury by claiming the victims of the Holocaust may have brought their fate upon themselves.” Moreover, she insinuates that the “six million Jews and millions of others systematically murdered in Hitler’s death camps in the 1940s were ‘balancing their karma’ for crimes committed in past lives.” The Hollywood star also offered this bizarre speculation:
‘What if most Holocaust victims were balancing their karma from ages before, when they were Roman soldiers putting Christians to death, the Crusaders who murdered millions in the name of Christianity, soldiers with Hannibal, or those who stormed across the Near East with Alexander? The energy of killing is endless and will be experienced by the killer and the killee.’
Christianity Today reports:
Family Christian Stores has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Yet the ministry assured customers yesterday that it “does not expect” to close any of its more than 250 stores or lay off any of its approximately 4,000 employees.
The Sola Sisters have compiled several articles on the topic of Christians and Conspiracy Theories. These articles were written to biblically address the reality of conspiracy theory websites that Christians are sometimes drawn to, but which we feel are unbiblical and cause Christians to become unbalanced and unsteady in their walks.
According to Christian News Network:
Much of the audience attending the Grammy Awards on Sunday donned light-up devil horns for the opening performance of the annual event—a presentation of the AC/DC hit “Highway to Hell.”
“Party time/My friends are gonna be there too/I’m on the highway to Hell,” the Australian rock band blared out as flames blazed on the jumbotron behind them, along with pyrotechnic effects. “Hey Satan/Payin’ my dues … I’m on the highway to Hell/Don’t stop me.”
Former gospel singer Katy Perry has made it clear that she is not a Christian. She once declared, “I’m not Buddhist, I’m not Hindu, I’m not Christian, but I still feel like I have a deep connection with God.” The “higher power” she says she believes in allegedly spoke to her before her Super Bowl performance. According to Christian Headlines:
She told E! News’ Ryan Seacrest, “It’s funny, I was praying and I got a word from God and He says, ‘You got this and I got you.’ And then I was on top of the lion and a guy, a random guy, just looked on me with a headset that I’ve never communicated with before and he just looked me straight in the eyes and said, ‘You got this.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, this is God confirming I can do this.”
Rick Warren is on a mission to unite with the apostate Church of Rome in an effort to solve society’s social ills. As usual, Warren downplays the wide divide between Rome and biblical Christianity. CNS News writes:
Evangelical pastor Rick Warren, who leads the eighth largest church in America, Saddleback Church, and is the author of the hugely popular book The Purpose Driven Life, said that Protestants and Catholics must form a “unity of missions” to defend the sanctity of life, sex, and the family, stressing that, “If you love Jesus, we’re on the same team.”
Christian Research Network reports:
During Thursday’s National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, NASCAR great Darrell Waltrip shared his Christian testimony with the thousands gathered, including Barack and Michelle Obama and the Dalai Lama, stating that he thought he was once a pretty good person, but “good people” go to Hell without Christ.
Christian News Network reports:
During the National Prayer Breakfast held in Washington on Thursday, Barack Obama spoke against violence committed in the name of religion, and stated that Christians have been just as guilty as Muslims and other terror groups of this crime.
“It’s not unique to one group or one religion,” he said. “There is a tendency in us—a sinful tendency—that can pervert and distort our faith.”
According to Christian News Network:
In an article published by the faith site Patheos on Wednesday, one of the original co-founders of the popular Christian band Newsboys revealed that he has since renounced Christianity and now identifies as an atheist.
“I always felt uncomfortable with the strict rules imposed by Christianity,” George Perdikis, who co-founded the group in 1985, wrote in the guest post. “All I wanted to do was create and play rock and roll … and yet most of the attention I received was focused on how well I maintained the impossible standards of religion. I wanted my life to be measured by my music, not by my ability to resist temptation.”
Live Action News reports that Pampers released a new ad in January entitled A Newborn Journey of Firsts:
Pampers has been known in the past for its beautiful, visually stirring ads that broadcast a pro-life message. A previous ad called babies miracles who “deserve protection” and referred to a baby on an ultrasound screen as a “he” instead of an “it.”
This time, Pampers’s ad — which has already received over 860,000 views on YouTube — opens as a mother lovingly caresses her pregnant belly. The scene switches to an incredible ultrasound where a baby is moving in the womb and, as Pampers puts it, is giving her “first hello.”
Author, blogger, host of TRUTHTalk and co-host of WOMANTalk, Debra Rae, has penned a fascinating imaginary tale of what’s rapidly becoming the typical modern-day individual. In her story, both Ima and Mia are college educated self-proclaimed citizens of “one world.” The couple reside in a “green” apartment nestled in an urban-cluster development with easy access to public transportation. Personal spiritual development is important to them. Thus, they align themselves with the rapidly growing “spiritual formation” movement which is rooted in the ancient disciplines.
Yes, the world is wicked. And yes, a lot of that in-your-face wickedness was on display, both visually and lyrically, in many ways during the 2015 Super Bowl half-time show. But please, let’s not go down the Illuminati rabbit hole. Exhibit A, an article from the dodgy, conspiracy-focused website called Now The End Begins, entitled: Ex-Christian Katy Perry Promotes Dark Magic and LGBT Agena at 2015 Super Bowl Halftime Show.
According to the Christian News Network:
A Christian theology professor says that it was the fear of man, not God that led a Tennessee megachurch minister to announce full acceptance of homosexuals in his congregation, including the allowance of those involved in sexual sin to serve in leadership roles and to “marry.”
“If you fear man, God will become small to you,” wrote Owen Strachan, Assistant Professor of Christian Theology and Church History at Boyce College in Louisville, Ky. in a post on Friday. “The approval of fellow sinners will matter more to you than obeying God by the witness of His word.”
Stand Up For The Truth reveals that Steve McSwain, an influential leader who has the ear of Christian leaders, political leaders and leaders of other religions, recently commented that “the church must ‘repent’ of how we have handled homosexual Christians.” McSwain also made the following heretical statement in a piece he wrote:
Today, I realize that what Jesus was really saying is this: “I am the way,” as in, “I know the way.” “I’ve discovered it” which, by implication means, “you can, too.”
And he said to me, “These words are faithful and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets sent the angel to show his slaves things which have to happen quickly. And behold I am coming quickly. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” Revelation 22:6–7, translated from the NA28 Greek text
Καὶ εἶπέν μοι· οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι πιστοὶ καὶ ἀληθινοί, καὶ ὁ κύριος ὁ θεὸς τῶν πνευμάτων τῶν προφητῶν ἀπέστειλεν τὸν ἄγγελον αὐτοῦ δεῖξαι τοῖς δούλοις αὐτοῦ ἃ δεῖ γενέσθαι ἐν τάχει. καὶ ἰδοὺ ἔρχομαι ταχύ. μακάριος ὁ τηρῶν τοὺς λόγους τῆς προφητείας τοῦ βιβλίου τούτου. Revelation 22:6–7, NA28
The enemy of our souls is relentless and if we look too long and hard at what apostasy and outright heresies are being embraced by the visible church, we can become quite discouraged. Never forget my brethren, our enemy could do nothing without the permission of God. Therefore, let us not be discouraged with the battle. Instead, we must resolve to continue to fight the good fight, never giving in to those who are attempting to change Christianity into something else. Yes, God may allow them to appear to succeed, but be assured that what awaits them is anything but what they have been deceived into believing. Instead, it is time for a bit of encouragement for those of you who so desperately need some.
Christian News Network reports:
A California man who obtained a sex change operation in the 1980’s to live as a woman and later reverted back to his biological gender is sharing his story of how God redeemed his life and gave him hope.